April 18th, 2018

TECH Tip: TOP TEN Ways to Dry Wet Cartridge Brass

Wet Tumbling Brass Drier

Many shooters these days clean their cartridge brass ultrasonically, or wet-tumble their cases with stainless media (above). Both methods get brass clean and shiny, inside and out. However, when those wet-cleaning processes are completed, you’re left with a pile of soaking wet brass. How do you dry your brass quickly and efficiently, without unsightly water spots? Read on for some great answers…

In our Shooters’ Forum, Forum Gold Member Terry asked: “How do you dry your brass after Ultrasonic cleaning?” In an interesting Reloading Forum Thread, many smart suggestions were posted. A dozen fellow members outlined a variety of effective case-drying procedures, which work equally well for both wet-tumbled brass and ultrasonically-cleaned cases. Here are the Top 10 brass-drying suggestions from our Forum members.

TOP TEN Ways to Dry Cartridge Brass After Wet Cleaning

1. Food Dehydrator — Shake the brass in towel to get the bulk of water off. Next leave in the food dehydrator for 45 minutes or until there are no signs of moisture inside the cases. — Lawrence97

2. Lyman 5-Level Case Drier — Rinse off cleaning solution(s), then load brass by type into racks in Lyman Cyclone Case Drier. This is easier to load/unload than food dehydrators and holds more cases.

Lyman Cyclone Case Drier

3. Hot Water + Compressed Air — Rinse all your cases as a batch using scalding hot water from the kitchen sink. Hot water evaporates off of brass very very quickly. Then hit them with compressed air. Takes 10 minutes. Simple. — SG4247

4. Oven Dry in Pre-Heated Oven — After pre-heating to 200° or so, turn off oven and put brass inside on a tray. Most important! Tell your wife what you are doing so she doesn’t crank it up to 425 to heat pizza! — MClark

NOTE: Many other members suggested oven drying at 150-200°. We recommend turning OFF the oven so you don’t cook your brass if you forget to remove the cases.

Dry Cartridge Brass heat gun5. Towel Dry then Warm with Heat Gun — Roll brass in a towel until no more water shakes out. Lay out on cardboard box top and blow off with Harbor Freight heat gun. $9.99 on coupon. Two minutes of heated air and about half hour of wait and they are good to go. This is with primers removed. — Shaggy357

6. Compressed Air, then Sun Dry Outside – I rinse the brass, then blow them out with compressed air. Then, dependent on the time of year, lay them on a towel in the sun. — HogPatrol

7. Dishwasher on Dry Cycle – In the winter, I drop my wet brass cases neck-down on the rack pegs in the dishwasher, then turn on the dry cycle. In the summer…well, I’m in Texas. They go to the porch for a bit. — Toolbreaker

8. Alcohol Rinse then Air or Oven Dry — Rinse in 90% Isopropyl alcohol and either let air dry or stick in 175° oven for half an hour. Alternatively, use a dehydrator. — Zipollini

9. Slow Air-Dry in Loading Blocks — I have a reloading block with holes drilled in it. I simply load the block up and let it air-dry in the cupboard for a couple of days. — JCS

10. Wipe with Towel Then Anneal Normally — This thread is stirring my OCD side. Seems complicated for just drying — my brass dries just fine when I anneal it. This entire process can’t take an hour per batch. When finished, the brass is cleaned, annealed, and ready to size. — CHLuke

  • Deprime, then tumble brass with stainless media, water, Lemishine, and dish detergent.
  • Shake them easily in a strainer to knock out most media then grab 4-5 pieces, shake them over the bucket for the last of the media then inside a towel.
  • Finally blow out the primer pockets and wipe with a towel, load in the Annealeez.

Wet Tumbling Brass Drier

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
April 17th, 2018

The Sky Is Not Falling — Firearms Industry Economic Report 2018

Firearms industry economic report 2018 NSSF

While the mainstream media attacks gun owners and blue state politicians demand new anti-gun legislation, the fact remains that the firearms industry is more important to the American economy than ever. CNN and MSNBC won’t tell you that the American firearms industry is very healthy, enjoying huge growth in the last decade.

In fact, Americans are buying more guns than ever, and spending more money on firearms accessories and ammunition, according to a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) report.

The total economic impact of the firearms and ammunition industry in the United States increased from $19.1 billion in 2008 to $51.4 billion in 2017, a 169 percent increase. In addition, the total number of full-time equivalent firearms industry jobs rose from approximately 166,000 in 2008 to almost 310,000 in 2017, an 87 percent increase.

On a year-over-year basis, the industry’s economic impact rose from $51.3 billion in 2016 to $51.4 in 2017, ticking higher even while the industry came off-peak production years. Total jobs increased from approximately 301,000 to almost 311,000, a 3 percent increase in the same period.

Firearms Industry Tax Receipts Fund Conservation Programs
“Our industry is proud to be one of the truly bright spots in our economy as an unprecedented number of Americans have chosen to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms and to safely enjoy the shooting sports,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President and CEO.

“We have increased our direct workforce by more than 7,000 in the past year alone, adding jobs that pay an average nearly $50,000 in wages and benefits. In addition, since 2008 we increased federal tax payments by 144 percent, Pittman-Robertson excise taxes that support wildlife conservation by 104 percent, and state business taxes by 121 percent.”

The Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report: 2018 provides a state-by-state breakdown of job numbers, wages and output covering direct, supplier and induced employment, as well as federal excise taxes paid.

NSSF 2018 Firearms Industry Economic Impact Report »

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 2 Comments »
April 16th, 2018

Bargain Finder 134: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

Bullets.com going out of business sale liquidation

This week will be a little different. Our First Five Products all come from Bullets.com. The reason is simple — Bullets.com is closing up shop, selling off its inventory. The items we list are all insanely good deals — many below cost. When was the last time you saw a premium Hodgdon powder for under $15 per pound? Or complete Redding die sets for under $50? Some of the product lines will still be carried by Grizzly.com, but bullets, brass, powder, and ammo inventories are being liquidated along with many reloading products and gunsmithing tools. You’ll find huge discounts on many top-tier products.

Here’s your chance to save big bucks on quality tools, shooting gear, and reloading components. Guys — take note: this is a unique opportunity to pick up some great products at truly rock-bottom prices. But remember this is an inventory close-out sale, limited to stock on hand. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

1. Bullets.com — Hodgdon, Alliant, VV Powder — Up to 50% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale powder hodgdon alliant Vihtavuori

Right now, Bullets.com has the best prices we’ve seen in a decade on some Hodgdon and Alliant powders. Vihtavuori fans will be happy too. NOTE: Over 28 powder types on are liquidation sale now — we just picked three to feature here. But you can see all sale powders on the Bullets.com Powder Page.

2. Bullets.com — Premium Bullets — Up to 50% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale bullets sierra berger nosler lapua

There are some great deals to be had here. Sierra’s latest High-BC 7mm Matchkings are available at huge discounts. And the superb Lapua Scenar-L bullets are offered too. These are some of the most consistent bullets we have ever tested. NOTE: Hundreds of bullet types from Berry, Lapua, Nosler, Sierra, and Speer on are liquidation sale now — we just picked three to feature here. But you can see all sale bullets on the Bullets.com Bullet Page.

3. Bullets.com — Redding Die Sets — Up to 65% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale reloading die sizing Redding micrometer

Need high-quality dies for rifle or pistol reloading? Look no further. Bullet.com’s prices on Redding die sets can’t be beat. NOTE: Over 500 die sets or individual die types are on sale at killer prices — get a $40 sizing die for under 15 bucks. See all the die offerings on the Bullets.com Reloading Die Page.

4. Bullets.com — Norma Hunting Ammunition — Up to 65% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale reloading die Ammunition Ammo Winchester Lapua Norma CCI Federal factory

Bullets.com is liquidating a wide selection of loaded ammunition. You’ll find pistol, rifle, and shotgun ammo from CCI, Federal, Hornady, Lapua, Norma, Nosler, Sellier & Bellot, and Winchester (plus other brands). The Lapua ammo is some of the very best you can buy at any price. Rimfire fans will love the SK and Norma Rimfire ammo on sale. Here we feature three examples of Norma’s superb hunting ammo. You will find 120+ other ammo types on the Bullets.com Ammo Sale Page

5. Bullets.com — Shooting Rests — Up to 62% Off

Bullets.com liquidation going out of business sale reloading bald eagle front rest shooting tripod pistol rifle

Along with Ammo, Powder, Bullets, and dies, Bullets.com has many shooting accessories on sale. We’ve always liked the Bald Eagle Slingshot rest (with adjustable windage), and now you can get this for a fraction of the original cost. Equipped with a good front bag (sold separately), this rest is good enough for competition, and it is an excellent front support for load testing. Check out other shooting rest products on the Bullets.com Shooting Rest Page.


6. Whittaker Guns — Howa Mini Action .204 Ruger — $349.99

Howa 1500 varmint rifle mini action sale discount .204 Ruger

Oh heck — this is hard for a Varmint hunter to resist. You can get a complete Howa .204 Ruger rifle for $349.99 — about the price of a replacement barrel blank for a Remington. This little gem has a very smooth, short-throw Mini Action with Howa’s excellent two-stage trigger. The .204 Ruger chambering shoots fast and flat, and is a fine choice for prairie dog work. Yes we’d prefer a heavier barrel for extended shooting sessions, but this is still a great price on a fine little rifle.

7. Amazon — Jiallite Scope Bubble Level, $11.99

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

If you shoot long range, you need a scope level. This nicely designed Jiallite Scope Bubble Level is fully CNC-machined to close tolerances for a good fit. It features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — almost all verified buyers have rated this five stars.

8. GrabAGun — 6mm Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle, $879.00

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor PRS production class

Get a Ruger Precision Rifle in 6mm Creedmoor for $879.00. That price is about $100-$120 less than other vendors, so this is a good deal. If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) chambered for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge don’t hesitate. GrabAGun is offering this popular tactical rig for $879.00. The 6mm Creedmoor chambering shoots faster and flatter than the 6.5 Creedmoor — so many PRS guys have switched to it. This Ruger is a good choice for the PRS production class. This is the Gen 2 RPR with upgraded handguards. NOTE: GrabAGun’s price has changed four times in the last 48 hours, ranging from $843.15 to $879.00. It may be lower than $879.00 when you read this.

9. Midsouth — Hornady BTHP Varmint Bullets, $52.29 for 500

Bulk .22 Cal varmint hornady bullets BTHP Midsouth Shooters Supply Free Shipping .223 Rem .224 Bulk Bullets varmint soft point Hornady

Need a boatload of bullets for varmint safaris, or high-volume .223 Rem training sessions? Then check out this deal from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Right now you can get 500 .22-Cal 62gr BTHP bullets for $52.29. That works out to just $10.46 per 100 bullets. You can also get 250 for $28.29. If you have high-volume applications for .224-diameter projectiles, this deal is hard to beat. You could easily pay two times as much (per hundred) for similar bullets elsewhere. Buying in bulk saves big bucks.

10. Amazon — 630 1″-Diameter Target Spots, $9.65 Delivered

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

We use 1″-diameter Target Spots for sight-in and practice at 100-300 yards. These bright red/orange self-adhesive dots are easy to see. At 100 yards the high-contrast black diamond centers provide precise aiming points. We found this 10-pack of target spots on Amazon at a rock-bottom price. You get 630 total stick-on dots for just $9.65 with FREE Shipping. You can also get 360 Birchwood Casey 1″ dots from Midsouth for just $3.15, but shipping is extra. If you’re already ordering something from Midsouth, you may want to add the dots to your order.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading 1 Comment »
April 15th, 2018

Cartridge History: Ever Heard of the .244 Remington?

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

What we now know as the “6mm Remington” was originally called the .244 Remington. The cartridge was renamed because it was not a commercial success initially, being eclipsed by the .243 Winchester. The .244 Remington and the 6mm Remington are identical — only the name was changed. Why was the .244 Remington an “also-ran” to the .243 Win? Sierra Bullets Ballistics Technician Paul Box provides some answers…

Was Anything Wrong With The .244 Remington?

by Ballistic Technician Paul Box for Sierra Bullets Blog

The year was 1955. A time of carhops, drive-in movies, and Buffalo Bob. It was also the year that Winchester introduced the .243 Win and Remington counter-punched with the .244 Remington (now more commonly known as the 6mm Remington). The .243 Win was based off the time-proven .308 Win case while Remington chose the old war horse, the 7×57.

We’ve all read countless times how Winchester chose the 1:10″ twist, while Remington adopted the 1:12″ twist for their .244 Rem rifles. The first complaint in the gun magazines of that era was how the faster twist Winchester could handle 100 grain bullets, while Remington’s [12-twist factory rifles were supposedly limited to 90 grain bullets].

The first complaint I remember reading was that the 100-grainer was better suited for deer-sized game and the 1:12″-twist wouldn’t stabilize bullets in this weight range. Now, let’s look at this a little closer. Anybody that thinks a 100-grainer is a deer bullet and a 95-grainer isn’t, has been drinking too much Kool-aid. In all honesty, it’s all about bullet construction and Remington had constructed the [90s] with light game in mind. In other words, Remington got it right, but due to a lack of knowledge at the time on both bullet construction and stability, the .244 never gained the popularity it deserved. At that time, Sierra had the 100gr SMP and Hornady offered a 100gr RN that would both stabilize in the slower 1-12″ twist. The .244 Remington provides another classic example of how the popularity of a cartridge suffered due to a lack of knowledge.

.244 Rem vs. .243 Win — What the Experts Say
Respected gun writer Chuck Hawks says the .244 Remington deserved greater acceptance: “The superb 6mm Remington started life in 1955, the same year as the .243 Winchester. It was originally named the .244 Remington. Although the 6mm lost the popularity contest to the .243, it is one of my favorite rifle cartridges, and much appreciated by reloaders generally. The .244 Rem and 6mm Rem cartridges are completely interchangable, and anyone with a .244 Rem rifle can shoot [6mm Rem] ammunition in complete safety (or vice-versa). Remington .244 rifles made from 1958 on can stabilize all 6mm bullets, while those made in 1955 through 1957 are limited to loads using spitzer bullets not heavier than 90 grains for best accuracy.”

Nathan Foster, author of The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Cartridges, states: “In 1963 Remington attempted to regain ground by releasing .244 rifles with a new 1:9″ twist to handle heavier bullets. The cartridge was renamed the 6mm Remington and new ammunition was loaded giving the hunter the choice of either an 80gr bullet for varmints or a 100gr bullet for deer. In comparison to the .243 Win, factory loads for the .244/6mm Remington are slightly more powerful while hand loads increase this margin further.”

6mm Remington .244 Rem .243 Winchester .308 Cartridge AccurateShooter Chuck Hawks Sierra Bullets

Was the .244 Remington Actually Better than the .243 Winchester?
The .244 Remington (aka “6mm Remington”) has a velocity advantage over the .243 Winchester due to a slightly larger case capacity. The longer case neck of the .244 Remington is considered desirable by handloaders. We like the added capacity and long neck of the original .244 Remington. As renamed the “6mm Remington”, the cartridge HAS developed a following, particularly with varmint hunters looking for a high-velocity 6mm option. But it never achieved the success of the .243 Winchester for many reasons. As a member of the .308 family of cartridges, the .243 Winchester has certain obvious advantages. First, you can simply neck down .308 Win brass, which was available at low cost from many sources. Moreover, a .308 Win or 7mm-08 full-length sizing die could be used for body sizing. Still the .244 Remington (6mm Remington) presents an interesting “what if?” story…

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 6 Comments »
April 9th, 2018

Bargain Finder 133: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Bud’s Gun Shop — T/C Rifles under $280.00 with Rebate

Thompson Center T/C Arms discount Bud's Gun Shop Sale Smith Wesson Rebate

Chose from a host of Thompson Center Arms (T/C) hunting rifles at crazy low prices. Right now T/C is offering a $75.00 Aim to Save Rebate that drops many popular rigs under $280.00. Here are some of the bargains we found, listed by model and chambering. You’ll find these and other great deals on Bud’s Thompson Center Product Page:

T/C Compass, 6.5 Creedmoor 22″ bbl — $354.00 or $279.00 after Rebate
T/C Compass, .223 Remington 22″ bbl — $351.00 or $276.00 after Rebate
T/C Venture, .243 Winchester 22″ bbl — $340.00 or $265.00 after Rebate
T/C Compass, 7mm-08 Remington 22″ bbl — $348.00 or $273.00 after Rebate
T/C Venture, .308 Winchester 22″ bbl — $340.00 or $265.00 after Rebate
T/C Compass, .300 Winchester Magnum 24″ bbl == $348.00 or $273.00 after Rebate

T/C® products qualifying for $75.00 Rebate: Venture, Compass, Dimension, G2 Contender, Encore Pro Hunter, Triumph, T/C® Strike and T/C® Impact.

2. Natchez — Special 5 Reloading Press Kit, $199.99

RCBS Special 5 Reloading Kit

Looking for a great gift for a family member getting started in metallic cartridge reloading? This RCBS Kit has everything a new reloader needs: single-stage press, powder measure, scale, powder trickler, priming tool, cartridge tray, “rocket” chamfer tool, case lube and more. This is an excellent entry-level reloading kit, on sale for just $199.99 at Natchez Shooters Supplies. We like the relatively compact Special 5 press for most reloading duties. Eventually you may want to add an additional, large heavy press, but this will get the job done. For the combined package, with all the tools one needs to hand-load quality ammo — this is a stunningly good deal at $199.99.

3. Amazon — Tipton Compact Range Vise, $16.99

Tipton compact vise Amazon deal sale collapsible rifle cradle

Tipton compact vise Amazon deal sale collapsible rifle cradleHere’s a very handy gun cradle that helps you clean and maintain your rifles while at the range. The Compact Range Vise folds and collapses to 11-1/4″, so it is easily transported. Two padded “V” brackets hold the rifle while protecting the finish during cleaning/maintenance operations. Made from solvent-resistant polymer, the Compact Range Vise is durable and should last for years. No this is not suited for wide-forearm benchrest or F-Open rigs, but for typical hunting and varmint rifles it works well.

Tipton compact vise Amazon deal sale collapsible rifle cradle

NOTE: Amazon may show this “temporarily out of stock”, but you can order the Compact Range Vise for $16.99 and it will ship when available. This sells for up to $31.00 elsewhere.

4. Precision Reloading — Hodgdon H4350 in Stock

Precision Reloading H4350 powder

There has been a long wait, but Hodgdon H4350 powder is now showing up at vendors across the nations. Some of our favorite online retailers have H4350 in stock now, in both 1-pound and 8-pound containers. Precision Reloading has H4350 one-pounders for $26.99 and 8-lb jugs for $216.99. You should probably act quickly, because this may sell out soon. Precision Reloading also has good inventories of other popular powders.

5. MidwayUSA — Norma Match-22 Ammo, 1500 Rounds, $99.99

MidwayUSA Norma Match-22 22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition

This Norma Match-22 ammunition is good stuff. In many rifles it shoots as well as $8/box products from other makers. But now you can get Match-22 for the equivalent of $3.33 per 50-round box when you buy 30 boxes. MidwayUSA is selling 1500 rounds of Match-22 (three 500-round cases) plus an ammo can for just $99.99. That works out to just 6.7 cents per round. If you don’t need that much .22 LR ammo, you can also buy 500 rounds for $39.99. We think you’ll be happy with this Norma Match-22 ammo. It is a good choice for tactical cross-training, rimfire silhouette, and fun shooting. This Editor ordered a 1500-round can last week.

6. Natchez — Surplus SKB 5041 Transport Cases, $105.99

SKB Rifle Case Military Surplus 50

Natchez has obtained a supply of British MOD Surplus SKB 5041 rifle cases. These were ordered as mine detector cases, but were never issued. Natchez has removed the foam cut for the detectors and replaced it with brand new 2-piece convoluted foam. Interior dimension of the case is 50″x14.5″x5″ so this will hold long-barrel match rifles comfortably. These are extremely high-quality cases, very tough and rugged, waterproof with gaskets. These cases feature four SKB patented trigger latches, four reinforced padlock locations, and inline wheels. Though in excellent condition, some case may have minor exterior scuffs. You won’t find a better case at anywhere near the $105.99 price. These normally retail for $299.99.

7. Amazon — Signature Zee High Rings (with Pos-Align Inserts)

Amazon.com Burris Signature Zee Rings

Burris Signature Zees are our “go-to” rings for use with benchrest rifles. Right now Amazon has the 1″-diameter High Sig Zee rings on sale for $36.94 (Matte Black) or $36.95 (Nickel) plus $8 shipping. Burris also offers medium height 1″-diameter Sig Zees. The 30mm Signature Zee rings are somewhat more expensive (about $54.00), but still well worth the price in our view. This Editor uses 30mm Signature Zee Rings for his personal 6mmBR rifle. The polymer inserts allow you to pre-load elevation, and also eliminate the need to lap your rings.

8. Remington — $100 Cash Back on Model 700 VTR and Magpul

Remington is running a $100 Spring Fever Cash Back Promo on its Model 700 VTR (Varmint Tactical Rifle) and Model 700 Magpul rifles. The 700 Magpul features a strong internal sub-chassis, while the 700 VTR has a unique triangle-countour barrel with integral muzzle brake. The mail-in offers are valid on guns purchased between now and May 1, 2018. There is a limit of five rebates per customer, $100 for each gun. Get details here.

9. CDNN — Smith & Wesson Model 617 10-Shot Revolver, $679.99

This Editor’s first really accurate handgun was a Smith & Wesson model 617 that could easily stack ten shots in a dime at 10 yards. It remains my favorite and most-used handgun, and I will never part with it. What can we say about the model 617? Every serious gun guy should own one. The single-action trigger pull is superb, and the accuracy surpasses most any semi-auto rimfire pistol, except for a few, very expensive target pistols. We like the 6″ version for the longer site radius, but the 4″-barrel 617 is also very accurate, and it balances better. CDNN’s $679.99 sale price may seem like a lot of money, but MSRP is $829.00 and most dealers are charging $750.00 or more for a new 6″-barrel 617. Get one — you won’t regret it.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals No Comments »
April 7th, 2018

Hodgdon H4350 Now Available at Leading Vendors

Precision Reloading H4350 powder

There has been a long wait, but Hodgdon H4350 powder is now showing up at vendors across the nations. Some of our favorite online retailers have H4350 in stock now, in both 1-pound and 8-pound containers.

Precision Reloading has H4350 one-pounders for $26.99 and 8-lb jugs for $216.99. You should probably act quickly, because this may sell out soon. Precision Reloading also has good inventories of other popular powders.

Precision Reloading H4350 powder

Bruno Shooters Supply has the large, 8-lb jugs for $222.95, with H4350 1-lb containers for $34.95. Bruno’s also has most of the other popular Hodgdon powders in stock now.

Bruno Shooters H4350 powder

Midsouth Shooters Supply has Hodgdon H4350 one-pound containers in stock for $26.95. However the 8-lb jugs are currently out of stock. They were priced at $191.99, a very good value (which explains why it sold out quickly).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
April 4th, 2018

Rimfire Barrel Cleaning — ELEY’s Recommended Methods


Here’s a record-setting rimfire benchrest rifle owned by our friend Joe Friedrich.

Eley rimfire barrel cleaning with felt oilThe experts at ELEY Limited, top rimfire ammo-maker, have posted a helpful guide to cleaning rimfire barrels. We reprint highlights of the article below, but we suggest you read the full article on the Eley website: How to Clean Your Rifle the ELEY Way.

Editor’s Comment: This is not the only way to clean a rimfire barrel. There are other procedures. This is the method recommended by ELEY based on decades of experience with the top smallbore shooters in the world, including many Olympic Gold Medalists. Some shooters have been very successful cleaning less frequently, or using different types of solvents. The ELEY method is a good starting point.

Rimfire Barrel Cleaning

1. Clean the extension tube with a 12 gauge brush and felt or tissue moistened with solvent.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-1

2. Smoothly insert a cleaning rod guide into the receiver.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-2-cleaning-rod-guide

3. Apply a dry felt to the cleaning rod adapter and push it through the barrel to the muzzle in one slow steady movement. As the felt is dry it may feel stiff.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-3-apply-dry-felt ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-3-apply-dry-felt-through-the-barrel

4. Remove the soiled felt and pull back the cleaning rod.

ELEY-how-to-clean-your-rifle-cleaning-step-4-remove-felt

(more…)

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April 3rd, 2018

Doom to Small Varmints — 2000 Rounds of 17 HMR for $339.00

Bulk 17 HMR ammo deal

For blastin’ small varmints (such as ground squirrels) out to 200 yards or so, it is hard to beat the little 17 HMR rimfire cartridge. Yes there are much more powerful centerfire varmint rounds, and the newer 17 WSM rimfire offers more velocity, but the 17 HMR offers a winning combination of accuracy and affordability, plus there are many excellent 17 HMR factory rifles with a variety of stock options. We like the Savage A17 with thumbhole stock. Volquartsen also makes fine 17 HMR rigs, including this rifle belonging to Top Shot Champion Dustin Ellermann. Dustin says this rig has shot half-MOA groups at 100 yards with CCI A17 ammunition.

Dustin Ellermann 17 HMR varmint Rifle

For Those Serious Varmint Safaris — 2000 Rounds of 17 HMR
Fans of the 17 HMR who shoot a lot of rounds during varmint season should rejoice at this latest offer from Midsouth Shooters Supply — 2000 rounds of Hornady 17 HMR V-Max for $339.00. That’s a very good deal that works out to $8.47 per 50-round box. This Hornady ammo typically sells for about $11-$12 per box ($11.69 at MidwayUSA), so you can see this is a very attractive offer. 2000 rounds may seem like a lot, but we’ve shot up to 400 rounds in a single afternoon on a West Coast Squirrel Safari.

Bulk 17 HMR ammo deal

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
April 2nd, 2018

Bargain Finder 132: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Amazon — Sig Kilo 1250 Rangefinder, $179.99

sig kilo 1250 laser rangefinder $199 Amazon

Hunting season is coming soon. That means going through your gear check-list before you head to deer country. If you don’t have a quality, compact Laser Rangefinder, here’s a great deal. The 6x20mm SIG Kilo 1250 Camo Rangefinder is now on sale for under $180.00. This is a very accurate LRF, that ranges deer-sized targets at long distances quickly. The scan mode is very fast (4X per second) and this offers both line of sight (LOS) or angle modified range (AMR). The unit is compact and light — a bonus for hunters. There are more expensive Laser Rangefinder that can range farther, but this $179.99 Kilo 1250 will definitely do the job on a hunting trip for one-third the price. NOTE: Check multiple Amazon vendors for current free shipping offers.

2. MidwayUSA — Norma Match-22 Ammo, 1500 Rounds, $99.99

MidwayUSA Norma Match-22 22 LR Ammo rimfire ammunition

This Norma Match-22 ammunition is good stuff. In many rifles it shoots as well as $8/box products from other makers. But now you can get Match-22 for the equivalent of $3.33 per 50-round box when you buy 30 boxes. MidwayUSA is selling 1500 rounds of Match-22 (three 500-round cases) plus an ammo can for just $99.99. That works out to just 6.7 cents per round. If you don’t need that much .22 LR ammo, you can also buy 500 rounds for $39.99. We think you’ll be happy with this Norma Match-22 ammo. It is a good choice for tactical cross-training, rimfire silhouette, and fun shooting. This Editor just ordered a 1500-round can.

3. Bruno Shooters Supply Sale — Save on Optics, Bullets, Brass Etc.

Bruno Shooters Supply Spring Sale

Bruno Shooters Supply is running a major Spring Sale. Lapua brass, powder, Berger bullets, Sierra bullets, rimfire ammo, optics, chronographs — all this and more is on sale at Bruno’s right now. But you have to act quickly. This storewide sale ends April 2, 2018 at 11:59 pm. You snooze, you loose. NOTE: You don’t need a special discount code — the sale prices are already shown online. No Back-orders with special sale pricing. As part of the Spring Sale, Bruno’s is also offering free shipping on Krieger barrels, Jewell triggers, and LabRadar chronographs.

4. Brownells — Howa 1500 Barreled Actions, Starting at $259.99

Howa Barreled Action Mini Cerakote Tan HACT trigger 1500 Brownells

Howa makes excellent, smooth-running actions, and the Howa HACT 2-stage trigger is WAY better than most domestic factory triggers. Right now you can save big bucks on Howa 1500 barreled actions, complete with HACT trigger and trigger-guard, starting at $259.99. Both regular actions and Mini Actions are offered. Available chamberings include 6.5 Grendel, 6.5 Creedmoor (back-ordered), 7.62×39, .308 Winchester, and .300 Win Mag. Some of these barreled actions come with a rugged Cerakote finish, while others have a blued finish. You can also get FREE Shipping with Code MDV during checkout. But note, this item requires delivery to an FFL-holder.

5. CDNN Sports– Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

6. FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $25.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $25.99 with FREE Shipping (on orders over $25.00).

7. Grafs.com — Lyman Pro-Touch Digital Scale, $44.99 (42% Off)

Grafs lyman digital 1500 scale sale clearance discount

We like this little Lyman Pro-Touch scale for the price — $44.99. No this compact digital scale won’t compete with a $700 Force Restoration balance that can measure a half-kernel. But this little Lyman is good enough for range loading, and for other tasks, such as sorting bullets and brass by weight. Graf’s $44.99 price is a genuine bargain. Lyman says the scale has “accuracy to 1/10th grain with anti-drift technology”. It can run with supplied AC adapter or three AAA batteries. This very same scale sells for $79.59 right now on Amazon. You can save over 40% by buying from Grafs.com this week.

8. Amazon — Jialitte Scope Bubble Level, $12.49

Scope Optic bubble level 30mm 1

All serious rifle shooters need a scope level. This nicely designed Jialitte Scope Bubble Level features a 30mm milled inside diameter, plus an inner insert ring so it will also fit 1″-diameter main tubes — that dual-diameter versatility is a nice feature. We also like the way the unit is nicely radiused, and has a low profile in the middle. Price is just $12.59 with free shipping. User reviews have been very positive. You could easily pay $35.00 or more for a 30mm scope level. Purchasers have praised this product — nearly all verified buyers rated this five stars.

9. Amazon — Sixty Glow Shot 6″ Splatter Targets for $14.99

Deals of Week 6

These Six-inch “splatter” targets display a bright yellow ring around each bullet hole. We like these adhesive Glow Shot targets for practice at 300-600 yards. The neon yellow on black provides high contrast so you can easily see 6mm bullet impacts at 600 yards. The 6″-diameter is one-MOA at 600 yards — a good aiming center size. Priced at just $14.99 for a sixty-count package, these are a good value compared to the larger Birchwood Casey Splatter Targets. Note: This Glow Shot target is also available in a Red Circle version, and Tri-Color version (red, yellow, and green).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
April 2nd, 2018

Vihtavuori Reloading Data Updates for 2018

VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile app pistol rifle .260 Rem .45 Acp .223 Rem .338 Lapua Magnum 2018 update

Vihtavuori markets a full line of quality, European-made powders for rifles and pistols. Finland-based Vihtavuori is operated by the same parent company, Nammo, that owns Lapua and Berger Bullets. If you haven’t tried Vihtavuori powders yet, you may be pleasantly surprised. For loading .45 ACP, our favorite powder is VV N320 — it burns clean and is very accurate. Likewise, VV makes excellent powders for rifle applications — from small varmint cartridges to large magnums.

New Reloading Data Released
VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile appVihtavuori offers free reloading data on its website, and through a free Mobile App. And now those resources are even more complete…


Rifle DATA | Pistol DATA | Mobile APP

Last week, Vihtavuori added new reloading data for ten different cartridge types, including some of the most popular pistol and rifle cartridges. You’ll find new pistol data for 9mm Luger and .45 ACP, and extensive new load data for .223 Rem, .260 Rem, .308 Win, and .30-06 Springfield (among others). Overall the 2018 data update features over 20 new bullets, with more than 140 new lines! All new data is also available in FREE Vihtavuori Reload App for iOS and Android. The updated online information supplements Vihtavuori’s Reloading Databases, which have dedicated sections for Rifle Cartridges, Pistol Cartridges, and Cowboy Action.

New Reloading Data is available for these TEN cartridge types:

VV Vihtavuori finland powder propellant reloading recipe data information mobile app pistol rifle .260 Rem .45 Acp .223 Rem .338 Lapua Magnum 2018 update

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
March 31st, 2018

Mega Cartridge — the 14.5x114mm (From Russia with Love)

14.5x114 mm cartridge Russia South Africa
Photo courtesy Elardus de Lang, Truvelo Manufacturers Armoury, South Africa.

Believe it or not, here is a cartridge that makes a .338 Lapua Magnum look like a toy. The 14.5x114mm cartridge was designed as a MG and rifle-fired anti-materiel round. To translate from the metric system to caliber and inches, the round is a mammoth .57 caliber which measures 4.49 inches to the case mouth, and 6.13 inches overall. That jumbo-sized case holds a whopping 655 grains of powder. Commonly-loaded projectiles weigh 920-1030 grains. The 993gr armor-piercing projectile has a muzzle velocity of approximately 1006 meters per second (3300 fps) and can penetrate 30-32 millimeters of RHA steel at a range of 500 meters.

The top photo comes from Elardus De Lang, a Forum member who works at the Truvelo Manufacturers Armoury in South Africa. Elardus also provided an impressive video showing the massive 14.5x114mm being shot from prone with a Truvelo-built bolt-action rifle. Elardus tells us: “Here is a video, with a slow-motion ending, of our 14.5x114mm anti-materiel rifle being fired in our indoor testing facility. This caliber is a true beast! It propels a 993gr Armor-Piercing Incendiary bullet to 3300 fps, burning 480 grains of powder in the process. [This shows] that rifles of that power level can actually be shootable. The concussion indoors is something to experience……every shot feels like you are being punched in the face, and the heat from the muzzle flash actually hits you like a wave!”

14.5x114mm Cartridge Design and Dimensions
The 14.5×114mm has 42.53 ml (655 grains H2O) cartridge case capacity. The exterior shape of the case was designed to promote reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt action rifles and machine guns alike, under extreme conditions. Cartridges typically use lacquered steel cases, but some countries also use brass cases.

14.5x114 mm cartridge Russia South Africa

All dimensions are in millimeters (mm). Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2, or 22.5 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 455 mm (1:17.91″) with eight lands/grooves. According to official guidelines, the 14.5×114mm can handle up to 360 MPa (52,213 psi) piezo pressure.

14.5x114 mm cartridge Russia truvelo manufacturers armoury South Africa

14.5x114mm Cartridge History
The 14.5×114mm (.57 Cal) is a heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge used by the Soviet Union, the former Warsaw Pact, modern Russia, and other countries. It was originally developed for the PTRS and PTRD anti-tank rifles, but was later used as the basis for the KPV heavy machine gun that formed the basis of the ZPU series anti-aircraft guns that is also the main armament of the BTR series of armoured personnel carriers from the BTR-60 to the BTR-80 and for heavy anti-material sniper rifles. The cartridge was designed in 1939 and first issued in 1941.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 4 Comments »
March 28th, 2018

224 Valkyrie SAAMI “Blueprint” Now Available Online

SAAMI .224 224 Valkyrie chamber cartridge blueprint specifications spec

Plan to buy or build a 224 Valkyrie rifle this year? Well now you can get the official specifications for the new 224 Valkyrie cartridge and chamber. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI), has released its official 224 Valkyrie “blueprint” which you can now download for your records. SAAMI approved the Federal Premium 224 Valkyrie as an official new cartridge this past January. The 224 Valkyrie’s SAAMI standards documents are now published and available to the industry as a whole, as well as to the public.

VIEW SAAMI 224 Valkyrie Cartridge Spec and Chamber Spec PDF

SAAMI .224 224 Valkyrie chamber cartridge blueprint specifications specSAAMI allows free access to technical data and drawings for cartridge and chamber designs, which are posted in the Specifications section of SAAMI’s website. All cartridge and chamber drawing documents are contained within the ANSI/SAAMI Standards and can be found on www.saami.org. The New SAAMI Cartridge Cartridge/Chamber Designs for 224 Valkyrie can be viewed here: http://www.saami.org/PDF/224-Valkyrie-Introduction.pdf.

About the 224 Valkyrie Cartridge
Federal Premium’s 224 Valkyrie is based on a 6.8 SPC case necked down to 22 caliber. The Valkyrie has a shorter case than the .223 Remington (and 5.56×45 NATO). This allows you to load the longest, heaviest .224-caliber bullets and still feed reliably from an AR15-type magazine. The 224 Valkyrie offers flatter trajectories than other AR15 mag-friendly cartridges, including the 22 Nosler, .223 Rem, and 6.5 Grendel. With heavy projectiles, the 224 Valkyrie boasts impressive ballistics — it can stay supersonic past 1,300 yards. Plus it has roughly half the recoil of larger cartridges offering comparable ballistics, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor (see chart below).

.224 224 Valkyrie recoil ballistics 6.5 grendel creedmoor

SAAMI’s work creates standards for the cartridge, increasing safety, interchangeability, reliability, and quality for firearm manufacturers building rifles chambered for the 224 Valkyrie. Federal Premium Ammunition President Jason Vanderbrink notes: “SAAMI’s approval of the cartridge was a crucial step in legitimizing [the 224 Valkyrie] within the industry”.

The Role of SAAMI in Creating Uniform Ammunition Standards
SAAMI was founded in 1926 at the request of the federal government and tasked with creating and publishing industry standards for safety, interchangeability, reliability and quality, as well as coordinating technical data. SAAMI’s Technical Committee, which consists of firearm and ammunition industry experts, reviewed the 224 Valkyrie submission over a period of about six months. The official cartridge name, maximum cartridge and minimum chamber dimensions, pressure limits, test equipment, and other characteristics are all considered and scrutinized during the process.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gunsmithing, Tactical No Comments »
March 26th, 2018

Bargain Finder 131: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Hornady — Advanced 4DOF Mobile Ballistic App, FREE

Hornady Free Ballistic App


GET Apple iOS Version HERE | GET Android OS Version HERE

Hornady Ballistic Ballistics App Mobile 4DOF degrees of freedom aerodynamic jump Android Apple iOSHornady offers a FREE Ballistic Calculator App for iOS (Apple) and Android OS. This new Mobile Ballistic App includes Hornady’s advanced 4DOF™ calculator as well as a standard BC (ballistic coefficient) calculator. The Hornady Ballistic Calculator App is Bluetooth-enabled so it can communicate with select wind meters.

The Hornady Ballistic App is FREE but you do need to supply an email address. We found the App downloaded quickly and installed easily. While the Mobile Ballistic App is new, Hornady has offered a web-based online 4DOF Ballistic App since August 2016.

2. RCBS Buy Green Get Green Promo — Rebate up to $175.00

RCBS Promotion Get Green Rebate March 2018

Folks, you have just six more days to get up to $175.00 in RCBS rebates. The Buy Green, Get Green Rebate works for ANY RCBS product over $49.99. There’s no restricted list of “qualifying” products. The more you spend, the more you get back — up to $175.00 total in the form of a prepaid Visa Card. If you are considering purchasing a single-stage press, electronic powder dispenser, progressive press, or a full reloading kit, use this promotion. It is good for purchases made through March 31, 2018. Purchase any RCBS item between $49.99-$99.98 and receive $10 rebate. Purchase any RCBS item between $99.99-$299.98 and receive $25 rebate. Purchase any RCBS item between $299.99-$499.98 and receive $100 rebate. Purchase any RCBS item between $499.99 or more and receive $175 rebate. Rebate form must be submitted by April 30, 2018. NOTE: Amazon.com purchases are ineligible for this offer. REBATE INFO PAGE.

3. EuroOptic — Free $100 Gift Card with $559 Leica 2000-B

EuroOptic Leica CRF 2000 B rangefinder $100 Gift Card Free

Leica has long been a leader in the Laser RangeFinder market and the model CRF 2000-B is highly regarded among hunters. Now you can get this popular model for just $559.00 at EuroOptic.com, a very good value ($69 cheaper than Amazon). And, when you buy from EuroOptic you’ll get a $100.00 gift card. This lowers your effective price to just $459.00 — a heck of a deal for the “gold standard” in super compact laser rangefinders. The Leica 2000-B is small enough to carry in your pocket.

4. Cabela’s — Taurus Millenium G2 9mm Pistol, $199.99

Taurus millenium g2 carry pistol 199.99 free nra membership deal

Here’s a great deal on a 9mm carry pistol. Cabela’s is selling the Taurus Millenium G2 pistol for just $199.99. That’s a bargain — this pistol normally retails for about $300.00. But the deal gets even sweeter. When you buy a 9x19mm G2, Taurus will pay for your first year of NRA membership. That’s right — buy this carry gun and get a FREE one-year NRA membership. The Taurus Millenium G2 has a 3.2″ barrel and weighs just 22 ounces, unloaded. Overall length is 6.3″, and capacity is 12+1 rounds.

5. Natchez — Bushnell Elite 4500 8-32x40mm Scope, $419.99

Bushnell Elite Demo Scope 6-24x40mm Sale

Bushnell’s highly-regarded Elite 4500 Series scopes offer good performance and reliability for the price. Here’s a great deal on a Demo Bushnell 8-32x40mm Elite 4500 with Multi-X Reticle and 1″-diameter main tube. This would be a good choice for an F-Class or long-range varmint rifle. We’ve used this scope in a 600-yard Benchrest match and it worked well, though we would prefer a reticle with MOA-based hold-off marks. We do like the 1/8-MOA clicks for precision target work. NOTE: Natchez also has 6-24x40mm Bushnell 4500 Elite zoom scopes on sale now for just $329.99 (with Multi-X Reticle). That’s a crazy low price for an optic this good.

6. Stocky’s Stocks — M50 Hunting Stock with AccuBlock, $219.99

Stockys Stocks M50 accublock aluminum chassis hunting stock adjustable comb

Here’s a new product from Stocky’s Stocks, at a very good price. This new M50 Monte Carlo-style hunting stock for Rem 700-type actions offers great features you won’t find on some other stock costing three times as much. The action is supported by a built-in Aluminum Accublock chassis. The comb is adjustable for height, and the stock comes with a nice “Softkick buttpad”. A variety of premium finishes are available. If you are thinking of re-stocking your Rem 700 rifle or building a new hunting rig with a Rem 700 clone, this is an excellent choice — an outstanding value.

7. Amazon — Plano Tactical Rifle Case, $68.64

Plano tactical Rifle case 43

This Plano All-Weather Tactical Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $70.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $220.00, so you can buy three Planos for the price of one SKB. The 43″-long interior will fit most ARs and many hunting/varmint rifles (measure your own rifle to make sure). The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move through airports and parking lots. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money. Dimensions: 43″ X 13″ X 5″ (Interior); 46″ x 16″ x 5.5″ (Exterior).

8. Midsouth — Hornady BTHP Varmint Bullets, $52.29 for 500

Bulk .22 Cal varmint hornady bullets BTHP Midsouth Shooters Supply Free Shipping .223 Rem .224 Bulk Bullets varmint soft point Hornady

Need a boatload of bullets for varmint safaris, or high-volume .223 Rem training sessions? Then check out this deal from Midsouth Shooters Supply. Right now you can get 500 .22-Cal 62gr BTHP bullets for $52.29. That works out to just $10.46 per 100 bullets. You can also get 250 for $28.29. If you have high-volume applications for .224-diameter projectiles, this deal is hard to beat. You could easily pay two times as much (per hundred) for similar bullets elsewhere. Buying in bulk saves big bucks.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 2 Comments »
March 26th, 2018

Ogives, Meplats, Boat-Tails and Other Bullet Design Elements

Bullet Design Zediker

Noted gun writer Glen Zediker (author of Top Grade Ammo), regularly contributes tech articles to the Midsouth Shooters Blog. Glen’s most recent Midsouth Blog article covers Bullet Design. We suggest you read the article — even seasoned hand-loaders will learn a few things about projectile properties (and how to choose the right bullet design for your needs). Glen also wrote a recent Blog article on cartridge pressure signs, linked below

Read Zediker Bullet Design Article | Read Zediker Pressure Signs Article

Glen explains: “A ‘match’ bullet’s job is to perforate a piece of paper. A bullet designed for varmint hunting, on the other hand, is designed to produce explosive impact, and one for larger game hunting strives to strike a balance between expansion and penetration. However! No matter how it’s built inside, there are universal elements of any bullet design, and those are found on the outside.”

Bullet Design Zediker

In his article, Glen identifies the key elements of a bullet and explains how they are defined: “Base, that’s the bottom; boat-tail, or not (flat-base); shank, portion of full-caliber diameter; ogive, the sloping ‘nosecone'; tip, either open or closed (open it’s called the ‘meplat’). The shape of the ogive and the first point of ‘major diameter’ are extremely influential elements. The first point of major diameter can vary from barrel brand to barrel brand because it’s the point on the bullet that coincides with land diameter in the barrel — the first point that will actually contact the barrel as the bullet moves forward. When there’s a cartridge sitting in the rifle chamber, the distance or gap between the first point of major diameter and the lands is called ‘jump’, and, usually, the less there is the better.”

Bullet Design Zediker

Ogives Analyzed — Tangent vs. Secant Bullet Designs
Glen notes that bullet designs reflect secant or tangent profiles, or a combination of both: “The two essential profiles a bullet can take are ‘secant’ and ‘tangent’. This refers to the shape of the ogive. A tangent is a more rounded, gradual flow toward the tip, while a secant is a more radical step-in, more like a spike. Secants fly with less resistance (less aerodynamic drag), but tangents are [often] more tolerant of jump [or to put it another way, less sensitive to seating depth variations].”

Glen adds: “Ogives are measured in ‘calibers’. That’s pretty simple: an 8-caliber ogive describes an arc that’s 8 times caliber diameter; a 12-caliber is based on a circle that’s 12 times the caliber. The 8 will be a smaller circle than the 12, so, an 8-caliber ogive is more ‘blunt’ or rounded. Bullets with lower-caliber ogives are more tolerant of jump and (usually) shoot better, easier. Higher-caliber ogives [generally] fly better, farther. This is an important component in the ‘high-BC’ designs.”

Learn More in Zediker Books
Glen has authored a number of excellent books for hand-loaders and competitive shooters. Here are three of his most popular titles, including his latest book, Top Grade Ammo:

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March 26th, 2018

Optimize Neck Tension with Bushings, Expanders, and Annealing

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Paul Box
One thing that plays a major role in building an accuracy load is neck tension. I think a lot of reloaders pretty much take this for granted and don’t give that enough thought.

So, how much neck tension is enough?

Thru the years and shooting both a wide variety of calibers and burn rates of powder, I’ve had the best accuracy overall with .002″ of neck tension. Naturally you will run into a rifle now and then that will do its best with something different like .001″ or even .003″, but .002″ has worked very well for me. So how do we control the neck tension? Let’s take a look at that.

First of all, if you’re running a standard sizing die with an expander ball, just pull your decapping rod assembly out of your die and measure the expander ball. What I prefer is to have an expander ball that is .003″ smaller than bullet diameter. So for example in a .224 caliber, run an expander ball of .221″. This allows for .001″ spring back in in your brass after sizing, and still gives you .002″ in neck tension. If you want to take the expander ball down in diameter, just chuck up your decapping rod assembly in a drill and turn it down with some emery cloth. When you have the diameter you need, polish it with three ought or four ought steel wool. This will give it a mirror finish and less drag coming through your case neck after sizing.

Tips for Dies With Interchangeable Neck Bushings
If you’re using a bushing die, I measure across the neck of eight or ten loaded rounds, then take an average on these and go .003″ under that measurement. There are other methods to determine bushing size, but this system has worked well for me.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Proper Annealing Can Deliver More Uniform Neck Tension
Another thing I want to mention is annealing. When brass is the correct softness, it will take a “set” coming out of the sizing die far better than brass that has become to hard. When brass has been work hardened to a point, it will be more springy when it comes out of a sizing die and neck tension will vary. Have you ever noticed how some bullets seated harder than others? That is why.

Case Loading Neck Tension Sierra Bullets Paul Box

Paying closer attention to neck tension will give you both better accuracy and more consistent groups.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 8 Comments »
March 24th, 2018

Wave Pattern POI — How Barrel Tuners Alter Point of Impact

Tuner Pascal Bukys Point of Impact shift test 6 PPC benchrest

6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine waveHave a good look at the photos below — this may be one of the most noteworthy target strings we’ve ever published. What you can see is the effect of barrel tuner position on point of impact (POI). You can clearly see that the tuner position alters the up/down POI location in a predictable fashion.

This remarkable 15-shot sequence was shot by French benchrester Pascal Fischbach using his 6 PPC fitted with a CG (Carlito Gonzales) action and a Bukys barrel tuner.

Pascal reports: “After [bullet] seating and load validation, I put the Bukys tuner on, screwing it out 10 turns. According to Carlito, the CG’s super stiff action-to-barrel fit gives a faster vibration modulus that is detrimental below 10 turns [position of the tuner].” Pascal’s procedure was to screw out the tuner 1/4 turn progressively from one shot to the next. He shot one bullet at each tuner position, with a total of 15 shots.

15-Shot Sequence with Tuner Changes
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave
CLICK HERE to SEE Large Version of Complete Test Strip (All 15 shots in a row).

Left Half of Target Strip (shots with 1/4 rotation change of tuner in sequence)
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Right Half of Target Strip (shots with 1/4 rotation change of tuner in sequence)
6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Pascal observed: “Note the point of impact displacement [from shot to shot] tracks clearly along a sinusoide (sine wave curve).” This is indeed notable and significant! This shows how the tuner’s ability to change barrel harmonics can alter the position of the muzzle as each bullet exits, resulting in a higher or lower POI. Pascal sent his results to Carlito Gonzales in Argentina for analysis.

Pascal poses this question to readers: “Guess which three positions Carlito recommends to try?”

Editor’s Note: While this target sequence clearly shows how tuner position can alter bullet point of impact, this, by itself, does not tell us which tuner position(s) are best for accuracy. That will require further multi-shot group testing, involving careful experimentation with tuner position (and powder charge weights). But for those folks who doubt that a tuner can make a difference on a short, fat barrel, just take another look at the photos. The up/down changes are undeniable, and noteworthy in the wave pattern they follow.

Shooting Set-up and Test Conditions:
Pascal did this test at an outdoor range under very good conditions: “This was shot at my home range, outdoors, with four Smiley flag. The range is a narrow cut in high woods. Wind was consistent with readable flags. I started testing the tuner from 10 turns out and on to 15. I recently… found a sweet spot very close to the rearmost position of the tuner, so the rigidity provided by this super long tenon (just short of 70mm) was not a reason to overlook the recommended Bukys tuning procedure.”

6PPC Pascal Fischbach Bukys Barrel Tuner sine wave

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
March 24th, 2018

How to Prep Mil-Surp Once-Fired Brass

USAMU Brass reloading tip

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit publishes reloading “how-to” articles on the USAMU Facebook page. One Wednesday “Handloading Hump Day” post covered preparation of once-fired 5.56x45mm brass. This article, the first in a 3-part series, has many useful tips. If you shoot a rifle chambered in .223 Rem or 5.56x45mm, this article is worth reading. And visit the USAMU Facebook page for other hand-loading tips.

This week, Handloading Hump-Day will answer a special request from several competitive shooters in Alaska. They asked about procedures for morphing once-fired GI 5.56mm brass into accurate match brass for NRA High Power Rifle use. The USAMU has used virgin Lake City (LC) 5.56 brass to win National Championships and set National Records for many years. In this 3-part series, we’ll share techniques proven to wring match-winning accuracy from combat-grade brass.

Preparing Once-Fired GI 5.56 Brass for Reloading (Part 1 of 3)
Assuming our readers will be getting brass once-fired as received from surplus dealers, the following steps can help process the low-cost raw material into reliably accurate components.

1. Clean the Brass
First, clean the brass of any dirt/mud/debris, if applicable. Depending on the brass’s condition, washing it in a soap solution followed by a thorough rinsing may help. [This step also extends the life of the tumbling media.] Approaches range from low-tech, using gallon jugs 1/2 full of water/dish soap plus brass and shaking vigorously, to more high-tech, expensive and time-consuming methods.

2. Wet-Tumbling Options (Be Sure to Dry the Brass)
When applying the final cleaning/polish, some use tumblers with liquid cleaning media and stainless steel pins for a brilliant shine inside and out, while others take the traditional vibratory tumbler/ground media approach. Degree of case shine is purely personal preference, but the key issue is simple cleanliness to avoid scratching ones’ dies.

Shown below are Lake City cases after cleaning with Stainless Media (STM). Note: STM Case cleaning was done by a third party, not the USAMU, which does not endorse any particular cleaning method.

If a liquid cleaner is used, be SURE to dry the cases thoroughly to preclude corrosion inside. One method is to dump the wet brass into an old pillow case, then tilt it left/right so the cases re-orient themselves while shifting from corner to corner. Several repetitions, pausing at each corner until water stops draining, will remove most water. They can then be left to air-dry on a towel, or can be dried in a warm (150° F-200° F max) oven for a few minutes to speed evaporation.

3. Inspect Every Case
Once dry, inspect each case for significant deformation (i.e., someone stepped on it), damaged mouths/necks and case head/rim damage. Some rifles’ ejectors actually dig small chunks of brass out of the case head — obviously, not ideal for precision shooting. Similarly, some extractors can bend the case rims so badly that distortion is visible when spinning them in one’s fingers. These can be used for plinking, but our match brass should have straight, undamaged rims.

Dented case mouths are common, and these can easily be rounded using a conical, tapered tool, [such as a .223 expander mandrel. A dummy 7.62 or .30-06 cartridge with a FMJ spitzer can also work.] If most of your brass is of one headstamp, this is a good time to cull out any odd cases.

4. Check the Primers Before Decapping
Your clean, dry and inspected brass is now ready for full-length sizing, decapping and re-priming. Historically, primer crimps on GI brass have caused some head-scratching (and vile language) among handloaders. Our next installment will detail efficient, easy and practical methods to remove primer crimp, plus other useful handloading tips. Until next week, Good Shooting!

NOTE: The USAMU Handloading (HL) Shop does not RE-load fired 5.56 brass. We use virgin LC brass with our chosen primer already staked in place. However, our staff has extensive personal experience reloading GI brass for competition, which will supplement the Shop’s customary steps. In handloading, as in life, there are many ways to accomplish any given task. Our suggestions are note presented as the “only way,” by any means. Time for loading/practicing is always at a premium. Readers who have more efficient, alternative methods that maintain top accuracy are invited to share them here.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
March 23rd, 2018

Primer Pocket Rocket — Another Reason to Use Eye Protection

Primer Blown Gas defect winchester casehead

Our friend Grant Guess recently had a “close encounter” with a bad primer. An apparently defective primer caused part of the casehead on one of his rounds to blow out. This, in turn, allowed high pressure gas to vent through the damaged primer pocket. Take a good look, boys and girls. This is yet another very good reason to wear safety glasses. The cartridge was a 6.5-06, handloaded in necked-down Winchester-headstamp .270 Win brass. Grant reports:

“I had a blow through between the primer and the primer pocket today. The action was really smoking and I got a face full of gas. This was a reasonably light charge. Thank God for safety glasses.

I should also mention that it appears there is a 3/64 hole that is halfway between the primer and the primer pocket. Like it burned a small jet hole through both of them.”

Could this happen to you? It just might. On seeing this damaged case, one of Grant’s Facebook friends, Chris D., observed: “Search the internet, you will see a lot of these pin hole ‘in the corner’ failures. Obviously Winchester has some issues with the LR primers.”

Careful Examination Reveals Apparent Primer Defect
After this incident, Grant examined the damaged case: “I pinned the flash hole and it is not over-sized or under-sized. The primer clearly has an area where it had a defect. At [50,000 CUP], it doesn’t take much of a defect to cause issues. There was a slight bit of pucker-factor on the next shot….”

Primer Blown Gas defect winchester casehead

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
March 22nd, 2018

Power User Tips for Ultrasonic Cleaning Machines

Ultrasonic Cleaning RCBS Ultrasound .308 Winchester 7.62x51 brass casings

Tumblers and walnut/corncob media are old school. These days many shooters prefer processing brass rapidly with an ultrasonic cleaning machine. When used with the proper solution, a good ultrasonic cleaning machine can quickly remove remove dust, carbon, oil, and powder residue from your cartridge brass. The ultrasonic process will clean the inside of the cases, and even the primer pockets. Tumbling works well too, but for really dirty brass, ultrasonic cleaning may be a wise choice.

READ FULL UltimateReloader.com Article on Ultrasonic Case Cleaning.

Our friend Gavin Gear recently put an RCBS Ultrasonic cleaning machine through its paces using RCBS Ultrasonic Case Cleaning Solution (RCBS #87058). To provide a real challenge, Gavin used some very dull and greasy milsurp brass: “I bought a huge lot of military once-fired 7.52x51mm brass (fired in a machine gun) that I’ve been slowly prepping for my DPMS LR-308B AR-10 style rifle. Some of this brass was fully prepped (sized/de-primed, trimmed, case mouths chamfered, primer pockets reamed) but it was gunked up with lube and looking dingy.”

UltimateReloader.com Case Cleaning Video (7.5 minutes):

Gavin describes the cleaning exercise step-by-step on UltimateReloader.com. Read Gavin’s Cartridge Cleaning Article to learn how he mixed the solution, activated the heater, and cycled the machine for 30 minutes. As you can see in the video above, the results were impressive. If you have never cleaned brass with ultrasound before, you should definitely watch Gavin’s 7.5-minute video — it provides many useful tips and shows the cleaning operation in progress from start to finish.


The RCBS ultrasonic cleaning machine features a large 3-liter capacity, 60 watt transducer, and 100 watt ceramic heater. The RCBS ultrasonic machine can be found under $145.00, and this unit qualifies for RCBS Rebates ($10 off $49.99+ purchase or $100 off combined $299.99+ purchase). RCBS also sells 32 oz. bottles of cleaning concentrate that will make up to 10 gallons of Ultrasonic Solution.

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March 22nd, 2018

Hornady Video Shows How Ammunition is Made

Hornady Manufacturing

Hornady ManufacturingIf you wonder how ammo is made, starting with raw metal, check out this video from Hornady. It shows how bullet jackets are formed from copper, followed by insertion of a lead core. The jacket is then closed up over the core with the bullet taking its final shape in a die (a cannelure is applied on some bullet types). Next the video shows how cartridge brass is formed, starting with small cups of brass. The last part of the video shows how cases are primed and filled with powder, and how bullets are seated into the cases, using an automated process on a giant assembly-line. CLICK Link below to watch video:

At its 100,000+ square foot factory in Grand Island, Nebraska, Hornady produces millions of rounds of ammunition annually. The Grand Island factory is open for tours Monday through Thursday. Hornady Manufacturing, which now boasts over 300 employees, was founded by Joyce Hornady in 1949. The business is currently run by his son Steve Hornady who took over after his father’s death in a plane crash in 1981.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »